The car that Ferrari hopes will return it to the front of the Formula One pack in 2010 got an early airing courtesy of an Italian newspaper over the weekend, giving away some of the details of its design.
According to respected F1 technical artist Giorgio Piola, the car – currently bearing only the factory code number 281 – will call heavily on the successful Red Bull RB5, which won races in the hands of both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in 2009, and challenged Brawn most closely for both world titles.
According to his piece in Italy's Gazzetta Sportiva
, Piola believes that the front of the new Ferrari, in particular, will closely resemble the RB5, with a higher cockpit and a step in the nose. He also claims that the diffuser will be similar to that produced by Adrian Newey's design team in Milton Keynes, after the Scuderia found itself outclassed by several teams on the aerodynamic front in 2009.
In common with the majority of its rivals, meanwhile, Ferrari has increased the length of its wheelbase for 2010, with Piola claiming as much as a 15cm difference and the additional resiting of the oil tank, in order to accommodate the new 240-litre fuel tank required by the abolition of mid-race refuelling.
Ferrari has yet to reveal exactly when it plans to unveil 281 to the world but, with testing getting underway on 1 February, the first clues to the accuracy of Piola's claims can't be far away.